Melbourne’s electronic music scene is being hijacked by an upstart commercial electronic pop crew, staking a polished media claim to be representative of the “Melbourne Sound”. This is done via a nomination for Worst Documentary in 2014 or future meme, Bodycrash.
The video portrays Melbourne’s electronic music scene in a highly polished video with interviewees, music and footage shot that is not truely representative of the majority of Melbourne’s electronic music culture. It’s focused mainly on issues of drug abuse, underage drinking, an ambiguous “family” whose key participants are not mentioned, obscure and unheard-of dances like the “juicy wiggle” (of which no-one I know has heard of), and of atrocious pop music that is reprehensible to the majority of Melbourne electronic music scene participants.
The video’s interviewees are questionable at best in their knowledge and networks of Melbourne’s electronic music scene. Haarp Media sent a list of the names of the “authorities of Melbourne Sound” to 50 known participants in the scene. Bigger crews and venues followed by the broader public were noticeably not amongst those interviewed. Of 50 people, only five actually recognised the names of the interviewees, and these five said that the interviewees had practically no involvement with the bigger sphere of the cities scene.
One of these questionable participants – Claire Gethin-Davies – berated the local electronic music scene in the video with comments such as “basically, Melbourne’s full of musically inept drug addicts…” and that “generations keep getting dumber by the year”. Other interviewees frequently went back to talking about GHB in the scene.
GHB hasn’t been a problem with the majority of Melbourne’s electronic scene, except for clubs detached from the “real” underground scene along the more trashy part of King Street. These clubs play more of a blend of commercial hard house tracks referred to as “bangers”, and this sort of music is held in derision by the more intelligent majority of the scene.
It’s a pretty common fact that participants in Melbourne’s drum and bass, techno, house, hip-hop, juke, dubstep and future beats scenes would not attend a “bangers” or “Melbourne Bounce” night. Many factions of Melbourne’s electronic music scene are highly critical of this invasion, as shown on social media in sharing the link to the video,
One of Melbourne’s most respected drum and bass crews Wobble Out was a key protestor to the representation of the video, and DJ Cubist (as well as hip-hop producer Aoi) was one of those to have his comments erased on the Vimeo comments section for the video.
Cubist publicised the video in his Facebook feed, which recieved even more negative feedback via comments. There were also many comments via this writer’s Facebook too.
Michelle Hallam: “I honestly think (the negative feedback is) because it’s being plugged as a portrayal of a proper representation of the entire underground EDM scene in Melbourne, and it’s ruffling a lot of feathers as a result.”
Kieran Moran: “Wow, that’s terrible. Documenting the worst part of Melbourne. The juicy Wiggle? Really??”
Seen any posters or gigs around of “Melbourne Bounce”? We haven’t!
The obscure hard house genre “Melbourne Bounce” seems to be the driving force of Melbourne’s electronic music scene as quoted in Bodycrash, but is little heard of in regards to the broader scene. Such names as Will Sparks and Joel Fletcher are not present amongst any other of the interchanging genres that comprise nightlife in Melbourne, and these seem to largely be interested in their online presence and spread of hard house tracks and sound patches all dubbed as the genre of “Melbourne Sound” or Melbourne Bounce”.
The young author of this video – Adrian Ortega – is in denial about his role in directing, writing and producing a poorly researched script. He has mentioned to several sources that he wishes to run his film at the St Kilda Film Festival, which will result in further spread of misrepresentative elements of this video.
Haarp Media and many other participants, producers and promoters of Melbourne’s nightclub culture questioned the right for Ortega to create a video without researching, respecting or referencing actual key players of the scene, and were critical the actual relevance of the video to the actual culture.
To begin with, Ortega replied to Haarp Media’s comments in a very patronising fashion, but then negative response for the video mounted. Unable to respond to critisism, Ortega erased critical commentary – leaving only favourable comments left – for the video, before disallowing the public’s commentary for the video completely. He also claimed that this author was being ignorant of his culture.
Later we talked privately with Ortega and he had the following to say…
“None of my friends and I are into bangers… I just work at banger venues. We go to brown alley and revs all the time and are into psy trance, deep and minimal house. My mates play at some of those venue on vinyl. I don’t think I’m as uneducated as you think I am. All of that crowd (your crowd) have watched this and agreed that IT ACTUALLY GOES ON out there. None of them are offended or making an uproar so I can’t get all of this :s”
So let’s get this straight here.
THE OWNER WORKS FOR A NIGHTCLUB AND THE “BANGERS” INDUSTRY. This means Bodycrash is NOT a true documentary, but rather a subscribing of viewers to a COMMERCIAL INTEREST. How can this mean it’s informative of a “unique scene” in any way, shape or form?
Regardless of its interests, Bodycrash is truly terrible in its cultural representation to the point that the video could cause Melbourne’s actual electronic music scene through its strong anti-drug stance. This stance could result in the spread of misinformation on drug use within the scene, which could in turn result in further cultural stigmatisation, which in turn could result in further needless strengthening of Police presence at nightclubs, plus further needless restrictions applied to sound levels and hours for an already-marginaised scene.
Do you have an opinion on Bodycrash you would like heard, in regards to this representation of your electronic music scene? Comment here!
With absence of a comments section in the Vimeo, Haarp Media has created an open forum with which to discuss this video, and we’d like to hear your opinion. We do not seek to shape our opinion without open dialogue and not allow you to speak your mind. We recognise that this article is more of an opinion piece, so therefore we’d like to hear more of the public’s opinion.
Is this article an attack on “Melbourne Bounce”? It’s more of a counter-attack. Our culture was the first to come under attack by a false influence that has little at best to do with the diverse scope and range of true Melbourne electronic music.
Written by Kristian Hatton.